The 33rd annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony took place on Saturday night (April 14th) at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium. The 2018 inductees were Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, the Cars, Dire Straits, Nina Simone, and early influence gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. As with all the Rock Hall inductions, there were emotional moments — including Jon Bon Jovi’s nearly 20-minute acceptance speech, along with former member Alec John Such playing with the band — and Richie Sambora taking the stage with Bon Jovi for the first time in five years — even performing on a song from the band’s latest album which he’s not on. On the bizarre side was Dire Straits, who were essentially inducted by themselves, minus songwriter and frontman/guitarist Mark Knopfler, who opted out of the event with no public explanation.
This year’s event introduced a new category — similar to the Grammy’s Hall of Fame, in which the Rock Hall selects “Hall of Fame Singles.” The inaugural batch, which was presented by Steve Van Zandt, were “Rocket 88” by Jackie Breston & His Delta Cats; “Rumble” by Link Wray and His Ray Men; “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen; “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” by Procol Harum; and Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild.”
Along with the inductees performing, tributes were paid to recently deceased rockers with the Killers performing a medley of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and “Free Fallin'” and Heart’s Ann Wilson with Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell performing a salute to Chris Cornell with a cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” In addition to that, Lauren Hill brought the house down with her four-song salute to late-inductee Nina Simone.
The 2018 inductors for the ceremony were Ann Wilson for the Moody Blues; Howard Stern for Bon Jovi; the Killers’ Brandon Flowers for the Cars; Mary J. Blige for Nina Simone; Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard for Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and for the first time in Rock Hall history, no inductor for Dire Straits.
As expected Howard Stern’s induction speech for Bon Jovi was an highlight of the evening and pushed the all the expected boundaries: “Few realize that Mr. Richie Sambora single-handedly considered it his mission to help women who could not get dates to feel better about themselves (laughter). Over the years, he helped women, like, Heather Locklear, Cher, Denise Richards, and countless others across the world (laughter). Thank you, Richie. I always said, ‘It’s a good thing that Richie had a good thing for pretty blondes with blue eyes and a nice ass’ — that’s what motivated him to team-up with Jon in the first place (laughter) and create a fantastic songwriting team. God bless.” “”Your Wildest Dreams”
“Nights In White Satin”
“Ride My See-Saw”